Tag Archives: IBM

In Other News, the Sun Rose this Morning….

According to reports in the IBJ and elsewhere, the trial pitting IBM against the State of the Indiana is winding down. At issue are cross-claims about the reasons for and propriety of the termination of IBM’s contract to provide welfare intake services.

According to the IBJ, IBM’s lawyer argued that the real reason for the termination was state budgetary woes. The State’s lawyers defended the termination by complaining that “IBM was more concerned about profit than getting assistance to needy people.”

And the sun rises in the east….

Those of us who study outsourcing have repeatedly made the point that–while contracting can be a useful tool in many circumstances–it is not appropriate in areas where government is providing essential services to vulnerable populations. Despite lots of irresponsible rhetoric to the contrary, government is not a business. It’s purposes and aims are different. Private, for-profit organizations have a duty to shareholders; government agencies have obligations to citizens.

Evidently, this essential distinction escaped the notice of the Daniels Administration, which is now shocked–shocked┬áto discover that a business would prioritize the pursuit of profit.

In other breaking news, it appears that rain is wet.

Why Doesn’t Mitch Want to Testify?

Governor Daniels was the “hands on” manager responsible for Indiana’s failed effort to privatize welfare eligibility determinations in the state. He originally bragged that the move was his idea, and when it proved to be a huge mess, he was admirably forthright about taking the blame. While I’ve not read his book, friends who have read it say that those admissions and regrets made it into print as well.

So why is he doing everything he can to avoid testifying about it?

IBM has sued the state over the termination of their part of the contract (ACS, as usual, escaped the consequences and continues to feed at the public trough). IBM wants to depose the Governor. Seems reasonable–Daniels is clearly “in the know” about a number of issues critical to the litigation. But he’s fighting tooth and nail to avoid being deposed, and it’s hard not to wonder why.

The American system of justice depends upon the compliance of parties and witnesses in order to function. In our system–at least theoretically–no one is “too busy” or “too important” to discharge this civic duty. If I receive a subpoena, I have to respond; so should the Governor.

The Supreme Court insisted that Bill Clinton had to give testimony in the tawdry Paula Jones case, even though he was President and the litigation had absolutely nothing to do with the conduct of the government. Daniels, on the other hand, is being asked to testify about the use of tax dollars and the delivery of critical public services.

The continued stonewalling makes one wonder what the Governor doesn’t want us to know.